Rostand is associated with neo-romanticism, and is best known for his play Cyrano de Bergerac. Rostand's romantic plays provided an alternative to the naturalistic theatre popular during the late 19th century. Another of Rostand's works, Les Romanesques, has been adapted as the highly successful musical comedy The Fantasticks.
Rostand was born in Marseille, France, into a wealthy and cultured Provençal family. His father was an economist and a poet, a member of the Marseille Academy and the Institut de France. Rostand studied literature, history, and philosophy at the Collège Stanislas in Paris, France. He married the poet Rosemonde Gérard. The couple had two sons, Jean and Maurice. In 1901, Rostand became the youngest writer to be elected to the Académie française.
In the 1900s, Rostand came to live in the Villa Arnaga in Cambo-les-Bains in the French Basque Country looking for a cure for his pleurisy. The house is now a heritage site and a museum of Rostand's life and Basque architecture and crafts. Rostand died in 1918, a victim of the Great Flu Epidemic, and is buried in the Cimetière de Marseille.
His house in now a sight and a museum. He is a poet.